THINKING – NEW PONCHO PROJECT

I’m still doing Dragon, but I’m also thinking about the poncho request I mentioned yesterday. I hope people find my?starting with so many unknowns and feeling my way through this project?will be useful.

My daughter went through my stash, and picked out a first and second choice. Her first choice is this lot:

(Apologies for the poor color registration. The photo looks dingy, yellow, and grey compared to the original hues.)? This is a mixed bag of Paternayan 100% wool I picked up at?my local?yarn store’s semi-annual?odd-lot sale. I’ve got?seven skeins – three mixed blues, two wegewood blues, and two smoke blues. The solids both coordinate with the variegated skeins. When I bought this stuff I thought I’d take the time to separate out the?three constituent loose?plies yielding three times?the original?yardage, then use the result to do a top for myself. That idea has sat idle for several years now, un-plying all that yarn having lost its initial appeal. But now I’ve got this bag of yarn of unknown yardage and weight, with no clue as to possible gauge. I have no pattern in mind other than "Small lacy poncho, mom."? ?

Today I’ll start by investigating the yarn. I’m afraid in this case, wiseNeedle’s yarn data/review collection is of no help at all. There’s no entry for the maker, let alone the yarn. I know that Paternayan yarn is usually sold for needlepoint and crewel embroidery, and doesn’t often come in large hanks like I have. So I head out to my old pal, Google.

I find these specs for Paternayan Persian Wool. It comes in 8 yard skeins; 1 ounce/40 yard skeins and?4 ounce 178 yard skeins. Wishing I knew where my kitchen scale ended up, I compare my skeins to other yarns I know comes in 4 ounce put-ups. It seems pretty close to me. Provided I’ve got seven true 4-ounce skeins?I should have?about 1246 yards. That in turn is enough to make about a?pullover of about 45 inches?around?in a worsted weight yarn (no fancy patterns, plain set-in sleeves, generous but not boxy fit). I got this number by playing "what if" using Sweater Wizard,? but I could also have used my yarn consumption KnitKard (a very handy thing).

I’m making a poncho, not a sweater, but it sounds like I’m in the realm of possibility, especially because the target kid doesn’t want a huge blanket thing. Perhaps I’ll go back to my original concept, and increase the yardage by unraveling back just one ply of each skein. For each two skeins of original 3 ply thickness (which I estimate is somewhere between worsted and Aran weight), I’ll end up with three skeins of 2 ply thickness. That would mean an extra 178 yards of each of the solid blues, plus 178+89=267 yards of the variegated (I’ve got three skeins of the variegated, so I’ll end up with?one and a?half-skein’s length if I strip one ply from each). 1246+178+178+267=1869 yards. 1869 of something that appears to hover between DK and Sport should certainly be enough.

You may have spotted?the fallacy in my thinking. "Doesn’t thinner yarn mean a finer gauge?? Why would using it as a two ply cover more ground than using the?yarn full thickness?"?

My out here is in the request for a lacy item. I’m not knitting up a solid garter or stockinette piece. I’m going to do something with lots of openwork. That means I will be using a much larger needle than I would choose were I to knit this stuff up solidly. The thinner yarn will end up going much further than it would were I to use it at a standard opaque sweater gauge. To get a comparable effect from a heavier yarn, I’d have to move up to an even larger needle to achieve a lacy look. While that would make the final piece bigger, I doubt I could find a needle size that would enlarge the piece by the equvalent amount to the?lacy stitch/big needle/finer yarn combo.

Now I haven’t a clue as to the dimensions of the finished piece, nor any idea whatsoever about garment shape (rectangles or knit out from the center), texture pattern, or how I’m going to deal with all the variants of blue; but I think I’ve got a solid enough "Go" to begin swatching. After all, there are no Poncho Police that will assess my final output to make sure it’s legal.

I’ll keep working on Dragon, but I’ll interpose thinkbits on this project as time and progress allow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s